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Queries about vB to xF conversation and it's impact on SEO

Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by Khaleal, Sep 15, 2012.


What happened to your traffic immediately after converting to xF?

  1. dramatically Increased

  2. Slight increase

  3. Didn't change

    0 vote(s)
  4. Slight decrease

  5. dramatically decreased

  1. Khaleal

    Khaleal Active Member


    I am the owner of a vBulletin4 forum (classic) with about 30k of threads and 300k of posts.
    After the rubbish that IB lately introduced (vBulletin5) I'd say that I will never upgrade! And because they have no reason to continue the development on vBulletin4 I would seriously look for alternatives.
    Lets be honest! Both xenForo and IPB are better than vBulletin! They offer some great futures that vBulletin doesn't offer with great performance over vBulletin.
    I started to test out IPB, it looks cool and funny and provides a wide range of add-ons and skins that beat xF's ones (even their default style is usable for a professional forum unlike xF's)! their pricing is a bit more expensive than xF (the basic fees) while the renewal fees are the double! Anyway, the pricing isn't an issue for me.
    After that, I started to test out xF, the first thing I've noticed is the performance, in fact, it's incredibly fast! I liked the alerts function and how PMs are being displayed. something bad to mention about xF is it's skin structure. it's very basic and not professional, and the professional skins made by 3rd parties are quit few and can't be compared to those for IPB!
    That was a small review and compensation between IPB and xF. Lets now go to the real subject :)
    The real problem of the conversation (to xF or to IPB) is that about 92% from my visitors come from search engines! so, SEO is the most important side for me! especially that I got the first results with many good keywords which took me a very long time to get.
    I've seen some reviews about converting vBs to IPB and most of the writers mentioned that they noticed a huge drop in their search engines traffic. that's why I came here to xenForo and not to IPB.
    My question is, what is going to happen with my daily 30k+ of unique visitors?! and what will happen to my rankings with the good keywords mentioned above? I have a huge number of threads with PR4+ what will happen with them?
    But please, before you reply, I don't need a "calm down xF SEO is good" replies! I would like to see real stories about conversations from vB to xF and it's impact on their traffic. it would be good if the stories are provided with traffic reports showing the month when the forum was converted.
    BTW, I've used vBulletin without vBSEO and have the standard URLs (forumdisplay.php and showthread.php URLs)

    A quick additional question: Does xF provide a converter from vBulletin 4.1.11 to the latest xenForo release?

    I am so sorry for the very long thread, but I am really concerned about my forum's future after the conversation.
    Thanks in advance to those members will reply with their stories (and even for who won't ;)) and I am also sorry for any English mistakes, I am not a native speaker :)
  2. Walter

    Walter Well-Known Member

    I've done more than two dozens conversions from vb 3.x to Xenforo and my experiences are quite good. All you have to do is setup some 301 redirects and your traffic from Google probably will even rise.

    Skinning Xenforo is inredibly easy, my designer loves it.

    You can find the importer for vb4 here:
    R_A, Brad L, Jake Bunce and 1 other person like this.
  3. Khaleal

    Khaleal Active Member

    Thanks for your reply!
    I am aware that 301 redirects will simply redirect the old pages to the new ones peremintly.
    But what if the pages were redirected and search engins found xenForo's SEO to be worst than vBUlletin's?! The traffic comes from search engins will start to drop! And thats why I am asking these questions in the pre-sales forum.
    All what I need is a real story shows the traffic just before the conversation and just after the conversation. I would appreciate that.
    Also, if anyone has converted to xF from vB is welcomed to post his forum URL and the date when he performed the conversation. Maybe his Alexa statics help :)
  4. Walter

    Walter Well-Known Member

    Khaleal likes this.
  5. Khaleal

    Khaleal Active Member

    Thanks again for your reply.
    I've read the guy's review, and it sounds good although the screenshots from his GA account aren't clear.
    I would like to hear more from people who have migrated huge boards. This information would be appreciated :)
  6. Robbo

    Robbo Well-Known Member

    From a technical standpoint XenForo is far ahead of the competition in regards to SEO. What I mean by that is their HTML structure, use of HTML5 and use of newer SEO features. When it comes to the code XenForo is ahead with SEO easily. In use I have nothing to report though.
    Khaleal likes this.
  7. FredC

    FredC Well-Known Member

    vB4 with vBSEO to XF Beta 1 brought me an instant boost in Google with zero redirects.. Seriously it was the smartest move i made for my community.. As a matter of fact i can even go so far as to say not one single member complained about the change.. XF was a hit with my members from day one, and still to this day (two years later) i still get a significant amount of praise almost daily about the software and how good it is.. Another strong point is that i can also say with certainty that new members stay active for a much longer period of time then they ever did on vB4
    Khaleal, 0xym0r0n and Adam Howard like this.
  8. Jake Bunce

    Jake Bunce XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    XenForo's SEO is very good. Examples:


    As for the effects of a conversion... most experiences I have seen indictate that your traffic will go down slightly after the conversion, but will increase later once Google updates their records from your redirects. It's a net positive for almost everyone, especially in terms of user engagement. Here are some vB comparisons:


    One thing to note is that XenForo is much more efficient with page loads, so even if your actual traffic stays the same you can expect a decrease in page views due to XenForo's use of AJAX which avoids many full page loads.
    ArnyVee and Adam Howard like this.
  9. DBA

    DBA Well-Known Member

    Thanks to the redirects we didn't really loose any search traffic and our Google traffic is in an upward trend.

    Also like Jake said your page views will most likely decrease, however your visits will stay the same (or increase). With page views down and visitors the same, visit duration still increased.
    Khaleal likes this.
  10. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    Khaleal likes this.
  11. Khaleal

    Khaleal Active Member

    That's why I chose xF over IPB!
  12. Khaleal

    Khaleal Active Member

    Do you mean you didn't redirect the old vB links to xF's? This was a bad decision in my opinion!
  13. Khaleal

    Khaleal Active Member

    I am aware that 301 redirects would redirect your old traffic to the new pages, but the question is what will happen with good ranking pages! I've worked for a very long time building backlinks to these pages and concerned if I'll lose my rankings for these pages :(
  14. Khaleal

    Khaleal Active Member

    Thanks for your reply. But your forum barely gets 250 daily visitors and can not be taken as a measure. I would like to hear from huge forums owners :)
  15. Khaleal

    Khaleal Active Member

    This is all what I need! a brief description of the process, thank you bro :)
  16. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    Um. Going from vB4 to xenForo turning over 30,000 unique visitors, and visitors? Yeah, quite big.

    I have more members than there are "average" visitors as you say.

    vB4 killed any traffic I had left coming from vB3. Keep that in mind, as well.

    BTW, there's something called an edit button, ya know. Triple posts, holy cow!
  17. Khaleal

    Khaleal Active Member

    Your GA screenshots say that you have about 250 daily visitors not me.
    BTW, it's DAILY 30,000 unique visitors, the number of members is about 140,000.
    Even that we restrict posting threads for members with less than 25 posts we are getting a huge number of posts. So a major migration would affect everything!
    Thanks again for your reply :)
  18. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    The way you said it make it sound embarrassing. So, for me, it's offensive. I worked really hard to regain all of the loss from vB4's horrendous releases. I spent a thousand dollars to own the site, only to have a corporation destroy the hits and visits of the site with a shoddy release.
    Great! I'm trying to help you but the way you're saying things; it makes it seem like you're putting my site down. Show a little bit more respect next time.
    Expect a turnout then.
    Khaleal likes this.
  19. Khaleal

    Khaleal Active Member

    I am so sorry if you are embarrassed. I didn't thought it would be understood this way :) As I mentioned in the thread, I am not a native speaker.. and I still do not know the power of words in English.. it seems to be more powerful than my language's :) I am sorry again.
    Carlos likes this.
  20. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    It's quite alright! :)
    Khaleal likes this.

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